VETS from Queensland’s Animal Welfare League are urging pet owners to be extra vigilant following the early start to summer.
“Your dog and cat need access to clean, cool water and lots of it,” AWLQ Vet Doctor Theresia Andersen said. “Water pools are also great for dogs to lounge in and drop their temperature.
“If you have overweight, older pets, long haired animals better suited to cooler climes, or dogs such as Bulldogs and Boxers which may have difficulty breathing, air conditioning is really important to help regulate their temperatures.”
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Doctor Andersen said just minutes in a hot car, even with the windows down, is enough to do fatal damage to a dog in summer.
“If a dog is heat affected try to give it cool water and move it to an air-conditioned room,” Doctor Andersen said.
“If that doesn’t work and your dog remains distressed, it’s vital that you get it to a vet as soon as possible.
“Your vet will work to reduce its temperature and try to prevent its organs from shutting down.
“This can include the use of intravenous fluids, oxygen, medication and overnight care as the potential damage to your pet is assessed.”
Doctor Andersen recommends that owners…
- Running, cycling or other strenuous activity with your dog during the hottest parts of the day
- Never leave your pets in the car
- Prolonged use of Thundershirts during hot periods as they can trap heat causing your pet to overheat
- Make sure your dogs and cats have access to shade and plenty of cool, clean water
- Provide water pools for your dog to wade in
- Ensure artic breeds and those with issues breathing normally have air-conditioning
The Animal Welfare League Queensland shelter vet team has also developed its own recipe to keep dogs cool, called ‘Pupsicles’.
AWLQ Pupsicle recipe
- 1/3 cup dry dog food
- couple of dog treats (biscuit treats)
- 1 tbsp. wet food
- fold in above ingredients and add water to a ‘mush’ consistency
- place in plastic bowl to half way and freeze
- once hard top up with water and refreeze
- remove frozen Pupsicle from plastic container into safe dog bowl
Your Pupsicle is ready!